Tag: Liberia

Rubber in Liberia


In the first decades of the 20th century, rubber changed from a material that was a sometime useful curiosity into a vital strategic asset. This was especially true in the heavily-industrialized United States, with a massive demand for rubber in both transportation and industry.  The problem was the United States controlled no sources of rubber. Every pound came from foreign countries or colonies controlled by foreign countries.

“Empire of Rubber: Firestone’s Scramble for Land and Power in Liberia,” by Greg Mitmann tells of one US attempt to circumvent that shortfall. It relates how Firestone, a US company, with the support of the US government established and ran rubber plantations in Liberia between the 1920s and the 1980s.

Liberia an independent nation on Africa’s Slave Coast was established in 1822 by the United States. One of three independent nations in Africa in 1920, it was not a colony. It was settled by free blacks from the United States, part of an effort to solve the US’s slave issue by returning blacks to Africa. Its historic ties with the United States made it an ideal choice for “American” rubber.

In this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Nat Malkus welcomes Liberian Education Minister George K. Werner to deliver a keynote address on Liberia’s new education initiative, the Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) program, in which eight non-state operators manage 93 public primary schools. Dr. Malkus opens the event by describing Liberia’s recent history and the state of the education system. A short video is shown, detailing a typical Liberian school and outlining the PSL program. Following, Minister Werner delivers his address, discussing the rationale behind the program and its early successes.

Following Minister Werner’s remarks, panel of experts on education in the developing world discusses the implications of the PSL program. Alejandro Caballero of the International Finance Corporation states that private operators could provide substantial benefits to developing world schools. Amy Black of Results for Development stresses the importance of the government’s role in partnerships between public and private schools. Seth Andrew of Democracy Builders and Bridge International Academies believes that delaying the expansion of the model to analyze the program results, though understandable, would hurt students who are in failing schools.

Africa Journal: The Fastest White Boy on the Continent


We were living in the UK. The Big Man’s orders said that we would be moving to Jakarta, come the summer. I read up on Jakarta, I was totally stoked. On 01 April the Big Man got a call (while he was in the rack. Shift work). Some poor jamoche in some faraway hell-hole had dropped dead from a heart attack. He couldn’t fill (obviously) his follow-on billet. There was a ripple effect across the entire organization. The result was we were no longer going to Jakarta, Indonesia. We were going to Monrovia, Liberia. “Yeah, April Fool’s to you too, [expletive],” said the Big Man. Then he rolled over and went back to sleep. It wasn’t a joke.

Eleven days later, Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe led one of the bloodiest coups (up to that time) in African history, and took over. Won’t go into the 5Ws of the coup, but it was bloody and the body count was extravagant.

Member Post


As the arrival of America’s newest pre-existing condition dominates the headlines, worries over the Ebola virus have wreaked havoc on Wall Street, causing the S&P 500 to post its worst three-day slide since November 2011. But if Ebola thinks it can just waltz into this country and diminish Wall Street’s wealth, then Ebola doesn’t know President […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.